Work on new Bear Creek Nature Center pavilion to start in October

       A new pavilion at the Bear Creek Nature Center will be built this fall, according to Donna Scheeter, the centers' superintendent of interpretation.
       The open-air facility, under a 36-foot-diameter steel roof, will be located a few hundred feet northeast of the Nature Center off Bear Creek and Lower Gold Camp roads.
       Construction is scheduled to start in October, with work continuing through December.
       The pavilion is mainly the product of several years of fund-raising by the non-profit El Paso County Parks Naturalist Docent Organization.
       In all, the docents raised $48,000. Other money consists of $20,000 from the county's conservation trust (lottery) fund and a grant for just under $12,000 from Greater Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
       The grant, received this summer, was specific to the Bear Creek Nature Center, Scheeter said. “We were going to apply for a grant for both the Bear Creek and Fountain Creek (in Fountain) nature centers, but once we looked at the best options, we decided to apply for the grant for Bear Creek, and we were fortunate to get that,” she said.
       The docents, more than 100 trained volunteers, have been raising money for pavilions after the Bear Creek Nature Center was rebuilt in 2002 from an arson fire that had destroyed the original building. The hoped-for grant had been $35,000. But because more money than expected was raised, both centers' pavilions will now be going in. “Our volunteers are fabulous people,” Scheeter said.
       Both centers' pavilions will have concrete flooring, water, electrical power, and 10 picnic tables that will also serve as outdoor classroom tables. There will also be low-water landscaping and signs.
       “It will be a real wonderful place for visitors of all ages,” she said.

Westside Pioneer article